History of Prague
Although historians aren't certain exactly when Prague was founded, the city as we know it today is speculated to have begun in the 8th century AD, founded by the Czech dutchess Libusa and her husband, Premysl. By 800 AD, construction of a main fort around Prague had been completed, and by 885, the first stones of Prague castle were laid down. This area later became the seat of Czech government, hosting dukes and kings alike. The city was also an important trade center, with merchants from all of Europe settling inside its walls.
The 14th century was one of the best times for Prague, with Charles IV serving as the king of Bohemia (the Czech Republic) from 1346-1378. ...view middle of the document...
Sadly, he was burned at the stake for heresy in 1415.
Several years later Prague rebelled against its ruler, sparking the Hussite Wars. Prague was assaulted time and time again by Crusaders and mercenaries, but the militia held strong and the city was saved. Though Prague was victorious, Swedish troops managed to obtain a single banner bearing the city's coat of arms. This banner currently stands in the Royal Military Museum in Stockholm.
In 1576, Rudolf II became King of Bohemia, chosing to stay in Prague and further its cultural enrichment. Under Rudolph's rule, people of any profession were welcome in court, and he encouraged these people to pursue their interests. His entourage consisted of astrologers, magicians, scientists, musicians, and artists. In this century, many people visited Prague, including Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and John Dee.
Several years later, Prague's second defenestration began. The king at this time, Ferdinand II, had ordered Protestant construction of churches to cease. When there was protest from the Bohemian Estates, Ferdinand took away their political power. In 1618 four Catholic Regents, suspected of unlawful persuasion of the king, were brought to trial by Count Thurn. Two of the Catholic Regents, Vilem Slavata of Chlum and Count Jaroslav Borzita of Martinice, were deemed guilty, and promptly thrown out of a third story window. The Catholics claimed that angels had saved their Regents - the Protestants believed that the Regents fell in horse manure.
In 1784, Joseph II merged the four sections of Prague (Mala Strana, Nove Mesto, Stare Mesto, and Hradcany) to become a single area, now known as Mala Strana.
During World War II, Hitler ordered the German army into Prague, and many Jews were killed. In 1942, Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated. In retaliation, Hitler bombed Prague, and over 1,000 people were injured, with 701 dead. Hundreds of buildings were also destroyed, but three years later, a rebellion against the Germans occured and Prague was once again its own.
Today, Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, as well as the fourteenth-largest city in the European Union.
Prague is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with many of its buildings being over a thousand years old. Prague Castle, the largest castle complex in the world, was erected in AD 880 by Prince Borivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty. The castle still encompasses almost 70,000 square meters - and while this may sound like a lot, the grounds are only 17 acres. Included within the grounds are St. Vitus's Cathedral, the Golden Lane, and St. George's Basilica. Events run often, with an elaborate changing of the guard every hour, and a fanfare at noon. Prague Castle is also home to several museum exhibits, and is the seat of the Czech government.
The second most popular monument is Charles Bridge. Originally built in 1357, Charles Bridge was decorated with enourmous stone statues. The statues were...